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Collections | Music Manuscripts & Printed Music

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Arnold Schoenberg image

Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951)
Gurrelieder
Autograph manuscript, 1911
The Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection; Cary 282
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Gurrelieder (Songs of Gurre), a setting of poems by the Danish novelist and poet Jens Peter Jacobsen, was Schoenberg's first great success. The work occupied the composer intermittently for over a decade, from 1900 to 1911. Five days after the premiere, in Vienna on 23 February 1913, Schoenberg's old friend David Josef Bach wrote in the Arbeiter-Zeitung that when the work ended, "the audience's emotion erupted into an ovation lasting a quarter of an hour. This was genuine rejoicing, even if one or another member of the public may have introduced a jarring note of snobbery. What does it matter? Schoenberg has thirsted for recognition long enough; one may allow him to swallow a drop of harmless poison along with the honey of success."

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.